Good News, Bad News for UT Recruiting

For the best and worse of college football teams recruiting is much closer to a roller coaster ride that rocket launch.

Take Tennessee: The Vols received three commitments in two days with top 20 linebackers Andre Mathis and Todd Cox pledging their services along with big offensive lineman Malcolm Rawls. The next day they lose wide receiver Chancellor to Clemson the day before he's supposed to visit UT. Then big-play running back James Davis, of Douglass High School in Atlanta, announces Clemson is his new leader. Finally Derrick Williams, considered by many to be the nation's top prospect, said Florida in his final three but he won't say which other teams make that cut.

It might not matter. Urban Meyer has apparently made a dynamic first impression on Williams, and his former Roosevelt High School teammate, defensive end Derrick Harvey, signed with the Gators last season. The 6-foot-0, 193-pound, Williams had made Oklahoma his unofficial favorite, although there were indications the Vols had closed ground until Florida came on strong after Meyer in-home visit Wednesday night.

"I like Coach Meyer a lot and all I can tell you is that it was a good meeting," Williams told Franz Beard of Gator Country.com. "I'm not going to say everyone, just that Florida's one of them."

Bobby Stoops still has an in-home visit with Williams to turn the tide. He is scheduled to announce his decision next week on ESPN. Miami and Texas were his other finalists.

Davis, 6-0, 205, 4.55, rushed for over 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns in a sensational senior season. He was considered a Tennessee lean but that is no longer the case amid strong indications the Vols have lost some interest.

"I haven't talked with Tennessee in like three weeks," Davis told Robert Thorne of CUTigers.com. "I will probably wait until after my Florida visit. I will visit them on the 21st. I may commit after my Clemson visit. I would say there is probably a 50 percent chance that I will go ahead and commit after the Clemson visit."

When asked what the chances were of committing to the Tigers, Davis said: "I would say about 90 percent. If I had to go somewhere today I would go to Clemson. In the end I will go to Clemson. All my coaches have good things to say about Clemson."

Chancellor, 6-1, 185, 4.41, of Miami Edison High School, declared for the Tigers Thursday despite a scheduled visit to UT on tap for Friday. The Vols had not offered a scholarship which probably played a major factor in his decision.

While the Vols won't get their visit from Chancellor, they are expected to host the nation's No. 3 defensive tackle prospect DeMarcus Granger of Kimball High School in Dallas, Texas. Granger, 6-21/2, 325, 5.2, is a premiere defensive prospect who can bench press 405, squat 550 and reach 28 inches on the vertical leap. He's an outstanding inside pass rusher and run stopper. Granger, who doesn't list a favorite, is considering Arizona State, Oklahoma, LSU, Oklahoma State and Texas in addition to Tennessee. He took his most recent official visit to LSU and still has visits set for Oklahoma State (Jan. 14) and Texas (Jan. 21).

The Vols are also expected to receive a visit from Plantation Florida receiver Cedric McGee this weekend, The 6-foot-1, 180-pound, prospect has 4.50 speed and could play in the secondary.

The nation's No. 2 defensive end, J.B. Paxson, who visited Tennessee earlier this week, is expected to announce his decision sometime over the weekend. Purdue and Tennessee are thought to his leaders with the Boilermakers believed to hold a slight edge.


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